Kelly Akashi at Ghebaly Gallery / Los Angeles

Kelly Akashi / Being as a Thing

November 12 – December 23, 2016

Ghebaly Gallery
2245 E Washington Blvd., 
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Ghebaly Gallery presents Being as a Thing, an exhibition of new work by Kelly Akashi. 

Working between sculpture, installation, and photography, Akashi cultivates relationships among
a variety of ‘things’ to investigate their ability to transmit consciousness and how they can actively
communicate their histories and potential for change.

For this exhibition, the artist constellates interconnected processes of extended looking at—and by
extension, coming to know—objects. Microcosms of glass, wax, bronze, and fiber highlight organic
forms, at once familiar and foreign. The works presented balance the controlled environment of the
gallery space with materials and displays that oscillate between the ephemeral, the durable, and the

A series of weeds, drawn from life with meticulous leaf tracing and entombed through lost wax bronze
casting, take root in the floor and walls of the gallery suggesting a bridge between different modes of
knowing, unknowing, and scrutiny. These studies of growth and change embody the artist’s attempts
to understand the original thing.

Walnut wood with corner splines frame a suite of photograms that offer an alternative perspective
of several objects in the exhibition, resulting in an index of strange fossils that compress time and

Central to Akashi’s practice is the production of candles in limitless forms, challenging the notion of
what a candle can be, and what candle technology might afford as a process of making. They are
burned or left in their uninterrupted form, suggesting a stymied action that oscillates between possibility
and impetus, consecration and function. The dim light of the candles ask that the works around them
be examined at close range, allowing a plaster headboard accumulating with gum or a bronze candle
wreath to emerge in the space. 

Elsewhere, delicate lead mounds emerge from brick surfaces encrusted in the gallery’s brick wall,
embracing the building’s industrial past. Hovering between her familiar bronze and wax materials, the
lead behaves like candle wax, slowly accumulating in drips, gilded by chemical properties in the air that
change the lead patina slowly over time.

Two pairs of bronze hands draped over a small wall are a point of entry and a coda, each a unique
moment of the artist’s physical history solidified in time. They are crystallized examples of the artist’s
consciousness imbued in her things, but like the others, they are not her.